MVS Contributor jpgurley shows us how to pull the head of a Volvo 5-cylinder the easy way, with a documented outline of his steps:
I am certain that both Volvo Service Manual and ALLDATA tell you how to do it the hard way. To use their methods, you would want a a lift and lots more time than the way I go at it.
In a nutshell, I do ALL the work from the top and through the passenger side wheel-well. I leave the Turbo and most of it’s attachments in place and pull and replace the head with a cherry-picker and load leveler. There are a few different steps between the P1 engines and the P2, but it is doable on the newer ones as well.
Before some of you guys get skeptical about this procedure, I have done it on over a dozen 850’s, 98 70 series and a few 960’s. In many cases I have done it for less than $150 for everything needed and have had NO COMBACKS on any of them! One engine leaked at the turbo oil drain line, but that may have been there before the job.
One thing that I do (that I suspect few have the equipment to do) is to replace my own valves and cut the seats on ones with burnt or bent valves. But if you have to get a good head or a reasonable machine shop to do the actual head work, that would be an additional expense. So this narrative will be on how to R&R the head.
jpgurley then goes on to document the required tools for pulling the head, and the steps. This isn’t a feverish 100-step list, but rather a complete outline of his method of pulling the head on a Volvo 5-cylinder engine. If you need a very detailed step-by-step head removal tutorial, see this or this classic. Here’s a downloadable PDF of another method. Also: how to remove crud from a removed head.
Floor jack, jack stands, cherry-picker, load leveler (to attach the cherry-picker the head) a full set of hand tools, and everything needed to do a timing belt job. A torque wrench and angle gauge.
Drain the coolant from the pet cock that is right behind the #1 cylinder. You may not be able to see it, but it takes a 13mm box end wrench and will drain the engine. I don’t drain the radiator since those plastic plugs on the bottom the radiator are breakable plastic.
Jack up the car from the center of the front subframe and remove both wheels. (That will allow you to lower the car below ride height for easier access to some components,) Remove the 10mm plastic nut and bend back the cover by the front pulley (passenger wheel-well) If plastic is stiff heat it with a heat gun or hair dryer. Tie it back with a bungee or clap with a vice grip.